As reported here on Phil Cave’s Court-Martial Trial Practice blog, the Los Angeles Times is reporting here that the Marine Corps will no longer court-martial LtCol Chessani for his alleged failure to properly investigate the incident at Haditha.  As we previously discussed here, the military judge in the case dismissed the charges against Lt Col Chessani without prejudice due to the appearance of unlawful command influence in that charging process.  The Navy-Marine Corps Court largely upheld the trial judge’s ruling in an unpublished opinion. As discussed here, the Navy-Marine Corps Court subsequently denied reconsideration en banc.  As discussed here, the Judge Advocate General of the Navy did not appeal that ruling further to CAAF.

The decision not to court-martial LtCol Chessani was reportedly made by LtGen George Flynn, the Commanding General of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command.  A board of inquiry will be convened to determine whether LtCol Chessani will be retired as a major — though even if so, he would reportedly still receive a lieutenant colonel’s retirment pay.

Here’s a link to the North County Times’ report on the decision not to court-martial LtCol Chessani.

7 Responses to “Marine Corps will not court-martial LtCol Chessani”

  1. warlawyer says:

    Got the confirmation from his counsel. No court

  2. Got Their Facts Right??? says:

    Not sure how they can promise not to effect his retired pay in the unlikely event he’s recommended to retire as a major. The statute is very clear, if admin reduced upon retirement, he rates the “high one” of the grade upon retirement (major) and not the “high three” of his last three years as a ltcol

  3. Phil Cave says:

    GTFR, do you have the cite to the statute? Can’t find it in my files — duh.

  4. Phil Cave says:

    Found it again.
    Here is what GTFR is likely talking about.

    10 U. S. Code 1047(f) Exception for . . . and Officers Who Do Not Serve Satisfactorily in Highest Grade Held.—
    (1) Computation based on pre-high-three rules.— In the case of a member or former member described in paragraph (2), the retired pay base or retainer pay base is determined under section 1406 of this title in the same manner as if the member or former member first became a member of a uniformed service before September 8, 1980.
    (2) Affected members.— A member or former member referred to in paragraph (1) is a member or former member who by reason of conduct occurring after October 30, 2000—
    (A) in the case of a member retired in an enlisted grade or transferred to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, was at any time reduced in grade as the result of a court-martial sentence, nonjudicial punishment, or an administrative action, unless the member was subsequently promoted to a higher enlisted grade or appointed to a commissioned or warrant grade; and
    (B) in the case of an officer, is retired in a grade lower than the highest grade in which served by reason of denial of a determination or certification under section 1370 of this title that the officer served on active duty satisfactorily in that grade.

  5. Phil Cave says:

    I meant 10 USC 1407(f) — duh.

  6. Some Army Guy says:

    So the biggest war crime of the Iraq War results in no punitive action?

  7. Anonymous says:

    SAG – don’t forget MGEN Miller!